Only two cases of the virus have been confirmed in Uganda in the past seven decades. This is because the types of mosquitoes that would transmit the virus to humans don’t often come into contact with the general population, says Dr Julius Lutwama, a leading virologist at the Uganda Virus Research Institute. “The Aedes we have, Aedes aegypti formosus, normally does not bite humans. And then we have other [mosquitoes] which live in the forests and prefer to bite at dusk and dawn,” Dr Lutwama adds. This is in contrast to Latin America, where a different sub species, Aedes aegypti aegypti, is spreading the Zika virus.
We provide some suggestions of what might be possible and propose an open drug discovery effort that mobilizes global science efforts and provides leadership, which thus far has been lacking. We also provide a listing of potential resources and molecules that could be prioritized for testing as in vitro assays for ZIKV are developed. We propose also that in order to incentivize drug discovery, a neglected disease priority review voucher should be available to those who successfully develop an FDA approved treatment. Learning from the response to the ZIKV, the approaches to drug discovery used and the success and failures will be critical for future infectious disease outbreaks.
February 10, 2016
Open drug discovery for the Zika virus – F1000Research
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